I have been feasting all day on the Carter Family “Wildwood Flower” compilation. The album contains 25 songs recorded for RCA and Decca from 1927-1938. It features the original crew of A.P. on vocals, Maybelle on vocals, guitar, autoharp, and Sara on vocals, guitar, autoharp. Sadly there is no film on youtube of the RCA/Decca performances, but this clip (from the 1950s?) with Maybelle, Helen, June Carter, and Anita Carter will do nicely. The original title of “Wildwood Flower” was “I’ll Twine ‘Mid the Ringlets.” The song was written in 1860 by Maud Irving and Joseph Philbrick Webster. (RIP Doc. Keep on the sunny side.) Here are the opening few lines as sung by the Carters.
Oh, I’ll twine with my mingles and waving black hair,
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair,
And the myrtle so bright with the emerald dew,
The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue